Wiggins may keep racing in 2017
In an emotional and dramatic farewell race at the London velodrome, Tour champ Bradley Wiggins hints he may carry on racing.
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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Olympic gold medalist and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is hinting that he could race into 2017 instead of stopping with the Ghent six day in November.
Wiggins won five gold medals in the Olympics and in 2012, became Great Britain’s first Tour winner. Sunday night, he and Mark Cavendish were narrowly beaten in the London six day.
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“Money talks,” the 36-year-old Londoner said when asked if he could be convinced to race into 2017. “I’ve enjoyed it that much, I just don’t know at the moment. I’d love to still be part of it in the future. I still love riding my bike. I love racing.”
Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele overhauled Wiggins and Cavendish on the final night of racing Sunday in London. They raced in the London Olympic Velodrome, where Wiggins set the world hour record. The fans filled the velodrome and went wild with every Madison hand-sling.
“Who wouldn’t want to come back, with a week like this and the crowds like this?” he added. “It’s been incredible.”
Wiggins’s incredible career saw him morph from time trialist to grand tour cyclist with Team Sky. He tried to win in 2010, 2011, and finally took the Tour title in 2012. Team Sky won three more times with Chris Froome.
He switched focus to the classics and hour record. Before he retired from top level road racing, he placed ninth in the 2014 Paris-Roubaix and 18th in 2015. He pushed the hour record out to 54.526 kilometers.
Afterward, he led his own team, Team Wiggins. The UCI Continental team supports developing British track and road cyclists.
VeloNews understands, however, that Wiggins will call it quits after the Ghent six day, November 15-20. Perhaps Wiggins was simply swept up in the moment, waving goodbye to his home crowd in the Olympic velodrome.
The fanfare served as a welcome distraction from the ongoing U.K. Anti-Doping investigation. After Wiggins’s TUE information became public via Russian hackers, he came under fire for using corticosteroids ahead of the grand tours. Now, the anti-doping body is investigating both Sky and British Cycling.
Though the team won the Tour and Great Britain’s cyclists collected six gold medals in the Olympics, it has been a year of continuous scandals, from Shane Sutton to Lizzie Deignan (formerly Armitstead).
Wiggins refused to talk with the press over the six days in London and spoke only on stage in post-race interviews. More of the same could follow in Ghent.
If Wiggins did continue into 2017, however, he could further guide a group of young developing stars. His team this year helped Owain Doull join team Sky in 2017 and Dan Pearson to Aqua Blue.